Thursday, September 9, 2010

Soweto Derby Has No Spark Anymore

Selahle Mokwena

I remember the days when the Soweto Derby used to be worth talking about. The current crop of players we see these days seem as if they were taken from the fields before bearing fruit. The match between the two supposedly biggest teams in South Africa has become like any other match often ending goal less or at times one of the two just manages to score one goal. Watching the two sides against each other is often a waste of a Saturday afternoon.

Some say the introduction of fat pay cheques is the reason behind the poor showing of both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. I don’t believe money should be an issue here because the players of yesteryear were paid much less but they still showed unbelievable dedication. If a person who doesn’t have much to play for shows a lot of resilience then one would expect that the new breed of players with a couple of zeros on their pay slips would play a lot better as they want to get even more zeros there. But that does not seem to be the case with the teams that enjoy the best support in South Africa.

I think some players prioritise other things over football. Take a player like Teko Modise for instance. He is often on television to the point that I am starting to believe he has no time to be at his football training. He would obviously have to be given time off to shoot television commercials for the various brands he is promoting.

With this one can safely conclude that the Soweto Derby has lost its old spark. While pride of the team is still important, footballers are now playing for money above all else.

I would however tell you not to be discouraged to watch this weekend’s derby in the MTN8 quarterfinals at FNB Stadium.It could be something worth talking about on Sunday while having breakfast or on your way to get or beg for one or two to get rid of that hangover.

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